11 of the best Ted Talks on technology

Learn about Google's driverless cars, tech-inspired democracy, and how we'll survive on Mars

The Earth is full

Paul Gilding, writer and activist

What's it about?

Gilding argues we've used up the Earth's resources and available space - then tells us what happens next

Key quote

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"When we think about the future I paint, of course we should feel a bit of fear. But fear can be paralysing or motivating. We need to accept the fear and then we need to act."

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Your online life, permanent as a tattoo

Who is it?

Juan Enriquez, futurist specialising in genomics

What's it about?

The alarmingly permanent personal histories we are accidentally creating online

Key quote

"What happens if Facebook, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, cell phones, GPS, Foursquare, Yelp, Travel Advisor, all these things you deal with every day, turn out to be electronic tattoos? And what if they provide as much information about who and what you are as any tattoo ever would?"

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Behind the Great Firewall of China

Who is it?

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Michael Anti (aka Jing Zhao), a key figure in Chinese journalism

What's it about?

China censors criticism, but produces its own versions of Western social networks to wield freedom of speech like a weapon

Key quote

"This technology is very new, but technically is very old. It was made famous by Chairman Mao, Mao Zedong, because he mobilised millions of Chinese people in the Cultural Revolution to destroy every local government. It's very simple, because Chinese central government doesn't need to even lead the public opinion. They just give them a target window to not censor people. Not censoring in China has become a political tool."

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Your kids might live on Mars. Here's how they'll survive

Who is it?

Stephen Petranek, journalist and technology forecaster

What's it about?

Within 20 years, Petranek believes we will live on Mars. The question, he believes, is how

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Key quote

"Governments and robots no longer control this game. Private companies are leaping into space and they will be happy to take you to Mars."

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Main picture courtesy of Steve Jurvetson

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